Lis & the Single Girl: Can a Police Officer 'Cop a Feel'?

Single and fabulous? Well then this is the column for you!

Ever wish you had your own personal Carrie Bradshaw to answer your questions — not just about what to do if your boyfriend dumps you via text message — but serious issues that confront us? This special daily edition of “Lis on Law” will address topics that single women are faced with and that everybody wonders about — but no one has time to figure out.

Between work, working out, dating and maintaining a social life, it’s tough to find time to do much else. So, read up and prepare to be fully armed for brunch this weekend with your friends with some super conversation topics! Your pals will be amazed!

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My friend was stopped on the street and searched by a police officer. She hadn't done anything wrong, and he just seemed to be touching her improperly. Are the police allowed to do that?!

If your friend was touched improperly the answer is no way Jose! However, the officer does have a right to search your friend if he has a reason to suspect her of being involved in criminal activity. When an officer stops you on the street and pats you down, it is often called a "Stop and Frisk." Basically, the reason the officer stops you must be justified by some reason he has to suspect you of doing something illegal. This means that wearing a short skirt will probably not be good enough reason to stop you ... but wearing a short skirt while counting a huge stack of cash handed to you by someone thanking you for "your services" might be.

If the reason for stopping you was valid, then a reasonable search is usually justified. This usually means a "pat down." This search is pretty limited to searching for weapons or the like. That means an officer can't go through certain personal items of yours where it is unlikely that he would find any weapons. Improper touching, or copping a feel is definitely not allowed! "Frisking" allows the officer only to run his hand over the clothing to feel for a weapon and does not allow him to go underneath a garment unless the officer feels something suspicious during the frisking.

And don't forget: If you are stopped by a police officer, make sure you ask for identification ... believe it or not, there are a few impersonators out there who just want to cop a feel.


• Stop and Frisk Rules

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The information contained in this Web site feature entitled “LIS ON LAW,” is provided as a service to visitors of, and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship. FOX NEWS NETWORK, LLC makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site feature and its associated sites. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of your own counsel.

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Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. She is currently a professor of law at the New York Law School. Wiehl received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1983 and received her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland in 1985.In addition, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987.

Lis is also the author of The 51% Minority — How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It . ( Watch the Video ) and Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life

To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.